COVID-19

A person washing their handsThe Rodham Institute is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of D.C. Following the guidelines set forth by the CDC, the Rodham Institute has rescheduled all events. More information to come. In the meantime, we invite you to share information on our website about COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?

The human coronavirus is named for its appearance, the spikes on its surface resembling a crown. Some human coronaviruses (e.g. 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1) that circulate among the population cause more mild illness, like the common cold. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are also human coronavirus diseases. Like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, COVID-19 evolved from a coronavirus that infected animals. Because COVID-19 is different from these other disease-causing coronaviruses, it is sometimes called the novel coronavirus. But why is it also called COVID-19?

The World Health Organization announced that the illness causing this global outbreak will officially be called coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19 for short. ‘CO’ comes from ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ comes from ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ comes from ‘disease’. 2019 is the year this novel coronavirus was discovered.


How does COVID-19 spread?

Person staring out the window  Clinician helping a patient

COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person, from individuals who are actively sick with the disease. Most commonly, the disease spreads through respiratory droplets, but it may be possible to contract COVID-19 from surfaces if you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Not everyone who gets the virus will develop the disease.

It’s important to quarantine for 14 days after exposure to the virus, because that is the longest incubation period observed for similar human coronaviruses. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, even without experiencing symptoms, self-quarantine for 14 days. If after this timespan illness is not developed, an individual is not considered at risk for spreading the disease and they are released from quarantine.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Woman coughing

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may take up to two weeks to appear after contracting the virus. Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, new confusion or inability to arouse, and/or bluish lips or face.


Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Man holding his wife

People who are at risk of developing severe illness include older adults, individuals with chronic, underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, individuals with HIV and other autoimmune diseases, and other immunocompromised people. If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, take everyday precautions and stay home as much as possible.


How can I keep myself and others safe?

People using hand sanitizer

To avoid getting sick and to protect those at high risk for severe illness, it is critical that you: wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds often, avoid touching your face, practice social distancing and avoid travel, disinfect surfaces regularly, and wear a facemask if you are ill.

Source: CDC (2020)


Resources for DMV residents during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

From food, to mental health, to school, help is available.

Food

Arcadia Foods

  • Free meals at each pick-up site for students affected by school closings.

Bread for the City

  • Offering groceries to medical patients with urgent care needs

Capital Area Food Bank

  • After School Meals that can be picked up on site
  • Senior Programs: providing groceries though the food bank’s Grocery Plus and My Groceries to Go Locations and at Senior Brown Bag Locations
  • Pop-Up Pantries

DC Central Kitchen

  • Takeaway meal sites at Walker-Jones Education Campus (Ward 6) and Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7)
  • Free meals for individuals 19 and under – times locations listed on DC Central Kitchen’s Twitter, @dcck

DC Department of Ageing and Community Living (DACL)

  • Meals for seniors will be available for pick-up at each site from 10am-2pm for current participants

DC Public Schools

  • Free meals for all students

Food and Friends

  • Regular operations are continuing
  • Preparing to deliver shelf-stable food items if limitations affect regular operations

Good Stuff Eatery

  • Kids eat free while schools are closed

List of Maryland and Virginia Free Meal Sites

Little Miner Taco

  • Kids get one free meal per day while DC and MD schools are closed

Medium Rare

  • Delivering free meals to seniors in DC

Rasa

  • Free take-out meals for children under 18
  • Free take-out meals to hospital workers with valid ID and free take-out meals for their team members and families

&pizza

  • Free meals for hospital workers with valid ID – text #Hero to 200-03 to obtain a unique code for delivery
Mental Health

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

Psychology Today

My Sister's Place:  Ending Violence, Empowering Lives

  • Website:  mysistersplacedc.org
  • DC 24-Hour Hotline:  1 (844) 443-5732
  • Adminstrative Office Phone:  (202) 529-5261
  • Email:  info@mysistersplacedc.org

House of Ruth:  Hope Starts Here

Break the Cycle:  Support for young people (ages 12-24) in abusive relationships

  • Website:  breakthecycle.org
  • Administrative Office Phone:  (202) 849-6289
  • To chat with a peer advocate, text "loveis" to 22522 
  • To submit general inquiries, go to:  http://www.breakthecycle.org/contact

Metropolitan Police Department

  • Website:  mpdc.dc.gov/page/domestic-violence-resources
  • Contact Numbers:
    • Emergency:  911
    • Non-Emergency:  311
    • Domestic Violence Coordinator at Police Headquarters:  (202) 727-7137
School

DC Public Schools

  • Instructional materials, including lessons and student activities, available online

Free subscriptions from education companies

Scholastic Learn at Home

U-Haul

  • 30 days of free storage for college students forced to evacuate campuses
  • Partnering with Collegeboxes.com to deliver boxed and packing supplies to students’ residences
Other Resources

Aunt Bertha

  • Website and phone application for free health resources available in your zip code

Comcast

  • Offering free broadband internet for 2 months to low-income families

Pepco

  • Suspending service disconnections and waiving late fees through May 1 on a case-by-case basis